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Old 05-11-2018, 09:59 AM   #1
Hpwatson
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Help! Final epoxy coat and ballasting questions

I'm almost done with my first gun build and everything is pretty beautiful so far but I have a finishing question. Do I need to ballast the gun before the final epoxy coat then finish, or finish and then drill through the epoxy to ballast? It seems wrong to put raw wood in salt water but it also seems wrong to put an epoxied gun back on the router. Anyone with experience on this topic who is willing to help a newbie builder?
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:47 PM   #2
Charles dT
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Re: Help! Final epoxy coat and ballasting questions

Hi HPWatson,

I am a newbie too and have only built one speargun so far, no ballast. I am building my 2nd one and am planning on ballasting it.
So not speaking from direct experience but read hundreds of posts here and some builders ballast before, some after a few coats of epoxy. Generally if this is a new design or if you are new to gun building it is easier to have a coat of epoxy or two, determine ballast required and then make any holes + ballasting then put the final coats of epoxy.

If you do choose to put "raw" wood in water make sure to let it dry thoroughly before coating the epoxy.

there is a good thread here:
http://www.spearboard.com/showthread.php?t=103467

Hope this helps,
Charles
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Old 05-11-2018, 03:53 PM   #3
Xylophone
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Re: Help! Final epoxy coat and ballasting questions

On my epoxy gun I did one quick full coat, ballasted and then put on a bunch more coats after the lead was in the gun.
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Old 05-11-2018, 04:04 PM   #4
Hpwatson
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Re: Help! Final epoxy coat and ballasting questions

Yeah I was considering that also, thanks!
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Old 05-11-2018, 04:08 PM   #5
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Re: Help! Final epoxy coat and ballasting questions

Yup, just hit it with some 220 grit and wipe it down with acetone after when you're ready to finish it up.
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:23 PM   #6
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Re: Help! Final epoxy coat and ballasting questions

What is the wood?

I would just ballast is before the epoxy. And even before you drill any of the holes for fixtures like handle etc. you can tape the screws, onto the handle and tape handle onto the gun using Electrical tape.

Give it rinse with fresh water and towel dry and then let sit in a dry place for a day. You'll notice probably that the grain has been raised, so once you add your ballast, and do all that stuff you'll want to resand the entire gun with 220 or 100 whichever way you like.
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Old 05-12-2018, 03:36 PM   #7
Hpwatson
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Re: Help! Final epoxy coat and ballasting questions

It's black Locust and cedar, very floaty. I figured out it's going to need 21oz in the front and 18 in the back. Crap that feels like a lot of lead but no quitting now. Just hope the gun is still strong after I get this lead put in there
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:33 PM   #8
Behslayer
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Re: Help! Final epoxy coat and ballasting questions

Sounds like a reasonable amount of Lead for a BIG gun. Any pics? Maybe show some pics before you put in lead or epoxy. mmm.. Black Locust. nice choice. Cedar... not so sure about that.
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Old 05-13-2018, 09:36 AM   #9
Hpwatson
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Re: Help! Final epoxy coat and ballasting questions

Okay yeah I'd consider it a fairly big gun so maybe not too much lead then. Love the black Locust, the cedar was mostly for looks so I'm relying on the Locust for strength. All of this wood came from some old fence posts behind the barn on my family's land. So i just went with what we had, even though cedar is not the best choice it is definitely pretty. Here are photos, total gun length is 50 inches, and it's pretty thick.
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Last edited by Hpwatson; 05-13-2018 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:29 PM   #10
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Re: Help! Final epoxy coat and ballasting questions

It is pretty thick. You could thin out the body, I see you are limited in the muzzle by hole placement, but you could thin out the body like a Koah?
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:32 PM   #11
Hpwatson
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Re: Help! Final epoxy coat and ballasting questions

Yes I could have definitely thinned the body and probably will on future guns, but with the core of the gun being cedar I wanted to leave some extra mass to avoid weakening an already weak wood. The black locust on the outsides should support it though. The main mistake I made is putting the handle so far back. A mid handle would make it easier to swing/track such a bulky gun in the water but I'll just work with what I've got at this point. A lesson learned for future builds
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